Sew… For our recent trip to Italy I was really pleased that I managed to make two tops out of less that a metre of fabric. I know this is most likely a common achievement for sewers but being on the porky side I was pleased with my accomplishment!
The first top I made was the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress Top. I only had 0.9 X 1.08m of fabric and really wanted to make top as I had no other use for the fabric but didn’t want to sell it or give it away! When I’ve made the dress version I’ve found that you don’t need the hook and eye fastening at the back as it’s easy enough to pull on over your head. When cutting out the pieces I was really struggling to get the front and back bodice pieces to fit. The only way to squeeze them in was to scoop out some of the back making it a slight v shape. With this being a summer top it made a nice feature at back. I need sleeves. With gigantic boobs I find sleeveless tops very unflattering. I definitely didn’t have enough fabric for sleeves, even short ones, so I decided to give the ruffle sleeves ago which is one of the pattern options. I love this little top and it was perfect for our summer holiday.
The next top I made was the Colette Sorbetto which is an amazing free pattern. With only 0.95 X 1.2m of fabric I decided to go for a cropped boxy tee style top with sleeves. I shortened the sleeves and bodice length and still had enough fabric to add the pleat detail. I love this top and will definitely be making more versions of both the shorter and longer lengths.
For both these tops I did a FBA and made the larger sizes so definitely a lot of top for a little fabric. Here are some other tips I have for getting a lot out of your fabric:
Facings ~ These are usually weird shaped pieces taking up a lot of fabric. They are hidden on inside of your garment so don’t need to be made out of the outer fabric. Why not use a contrasting fabric or a piece of fabric from your stash that you’ve had hidden away for forever that you love but realistically are never going to make into anything.
Bias Binding ~ Instead of facing you can always finish the neckline with bias binding. I have recently been using this method to finish all my neck lines.
Pockets ~ An obvious one. Again another hidden piece of fabric that can be any colour or pattern you like. If you are like me you probably have lots of fat quarters waiting to be used. These are perfect for cutting out a pair of pockets. Or turn visible pockets into a design feature.
Shortening ~ If you know you always have to shorten the final garment by a reasonable amount then why not shorten the pieces first as you might just be able to squeeze it out of a smaller amount of fabric.
Sleeves ~ When I started sewing I was shocked at how much fabric sleeves need! Altering a long sleeve top to 3/4 length or making short sleeves into cap sleeves or sleeveless. Using a contrasting fabric for the sleeves can also be a great addition.
Features ~ Why not make a contrasting waistband or customise your Cleo to look like a watermelon?
Print ~ Plain or non directional prints mean you don’t have to worry about pattern matching and make it easier to jigsaw the pattern pieces onto the fabric. If you are using stripy fabric you can alway do some stripe blocking to get more out of your fabric.
What clothes can you make from one metre or less?